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HNA Meeting Minutes for March 7, 2018

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

2201 SW Vermont

Next meeting:  Wednesday, April 4, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church at 6:45 p.m.

Action Item 2018-3-7-1 Don Baack moved that HNA ask the Portland Bureau of Transportation to add a paved trail fork at a 45-degree angle to the Red Electric Trail connecting it to Bertha Boulevard.  The motion was seconded but failed on a tie vote of 4-4.

The meeting was chaired by Matt DeRosa.  The Meet & Greet was arranged by the Outreach Committee chair, Barbara Bowers.  The Agenda and the February 7 Minutes were approved.  The OnPoint Credit Union balance is $1,024.42.  In honor of Women’s Day, March 8, members introduced themselves by listing and describing “the women influential in my life.”

Joan Frederiksen of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability distributed handouts and spoke briefly about the three main components of the proposed Residential Infill Project within the City of Portland.  She then answered numerous questions about associated zoning changes and the meetings schedule for February 13 and 27; March 13; and April 24.  The RIP website is:  www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill.  RIP staff members include:  Morgan Tracy, Project Manager (503-823-6879); and Julia Gisler, Public Involvement (503-823-7624.  One handout describes the purpose of RIP this way: “In response to community concerns about demolitions and the scale of new homes, as well as the range of available housing choices in Portland, the Residential Infill Project is updating Portland’s single-dwelling zoning rules to better meet the changing housing needs of current and future residents.  The project addresses three topic areas:  scale of houses, housing opportunity and narrow lots.”  Joan discussed the three components of RIP which would affect zones R7, R5, and R2.5.  Public hearings on the RIP are currently scheduled for May 8 and 15.

In order to address the many aspects of this complicated and contentious matter, Joan agreed to return to continue our discussion and answer questions about RIP on Wednesday, April 4.  She can be reached at:  Joan.Frederiksen@portlandoregon.gov.

Nicole Peirce, Capital Projects Manager of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and Curtis Vanderzanden, Principal of KPFF, presented an update on the Red Electric Bridge design.  Construction of the bridge is expected to begin in the Spring of 2019 and be completed that year.   It will be 54 inches high, will be a concrete bridge with overhead lighting.  Trees along the trail will be planted to replace those removed to permit construction.  A nearby parking lot will be sold and marking may no longer be permitted.  They will take under advisement a recommendation that an additional fork in the trail be included in the final design.

Informational Reports

Land Use Committee

Glenn Bridger reported that no major land use proposals or notices had been submitted.  One home-tutoring business on SW Kanan Street was issued a permit and an Accessory Dwelling Unit permit was issued for a Short-Term Rental was issued for a home on SW Richardson Street.

Glenn also noted that the City is considering new rules requiring seismic retrofitting for 1,640 unreinforced masonry buildings.  The rules are being considered for improving safety of people living and/or working inside the URM buildings constructed before the 1960s.  Multnomah Village Neighborhood Association is very concerned because of the impact which these new regulations could have on their commercial center.  In Hillsdale, Cosa Colima and Mary Rieke Elementary School as well as two buildings between SW Barbur and I-5 and the Fulton Community Center could be affected.  More information is available at:  https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/70766.  

Outreach Committee

Barbara Bowers reported that the Outreach Committee did not have a meeting in January.

Thank you for stepping up and engaging speakers for our Board Meetings.  At this time May and July are not scheduled.  If you have a topic you want to introduce to the community I hope you will read the Guidelines (again posted on the Google site) and schedule the person plus be responsible for getting a write-up to me about their presentation by the 14th of the previous month so it can be listed in SWNI’s newsletter and a flyer can be created for posting.

SW Trails

Don Baack reported that 1. SWIM map app available to March 16, please consider commenting on Hillsdale projects including SW 18th up from BH Hwy, Red Electric Trail whole length, the key connections Board approved in 2016, short segments like SW Capitol Hill Road from Stephens Creek Nature Park to SW 19th, Cheltenham Ct from DeWitt to Westwood and others.

2. The SW 25th Avenue Bertha to BH Hwy step project is nearly complete. Two short sections of handrail are still on order.  The rest is complete except for one step that was stolen which has yet to be installed.  The grand opening will be May 12, and may include the May 13, but it is up to the SWTrails committee working on it.

3. Monthly walks co-sponsored by the Hillsdale NA start on the second Saturday of the month at the Food Carts at Sunset and Capitol Hwy.

Don also reported that Hillsdale Insurance will be provided through SWNI, which carries an umbrella insurance policy to cover all neighborhoods.  In an effort to be clear with SWNI about the various events and activities Hillsdale Volunteers are engaged in, the Hillsdale Board passed a motion to include the activities listed below. This has now been vetted with the Executive Director of SWNI with the comments noted below mainly related to “Block Parties.”  The Hillsdale Board on Feb 7, 2018, approved the following activities to be included in the SWNI insurance coverage:

  1. 12 monthly walks co-sponsored with SW trails;
  2. Hillsdale Neighborhood Volunteers working on the 2018 PBOT Grant SWTrails has received for a trail segment in The Hillsdale NA Boundary which will involve several work parties and the installing of 30 or fewer steps. SWTrails will be leading the effort.  SW Melville to SW Twombly along Trail 1 on an unnamed ROW.

3. Neighborhood night out (August)

4. Thanksgiving walk on Thanksgiving Day

5. Two Wilson campus work parties, usually April and August each year.  These are PPS projects we are urging neighborhood volunteers to be involved in.

6. Burlingame Block Party plus five other PBOT type Block Parties.  SWNI indicated a problem approving six Block Parties, although it can provide for “Community Events” where the NA wants to close streets for public events, such as a Halloween event, already discussed. When a NA hosts a “Community Events” it needs to be involved in all aspects of the planning, promotion, and safety for an event which is open to the public.  The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) states that a Block Party is not open to the public but only the residents that live in the block. SWNI’s insurance will not cover individual parties hosted by residents. The good news is that PBOT no longer requires insurance, which is now optional, but they do list a number of way home owners can obtain insurance if they wish.  Block parties are initiated by and are intended for only local residents who live on the street being closed.

Not Covered in Board Motion but information requested by Don Baack: There may be other impromptu “show me” walks to show Hillsdale Board Members, General members and others specific things on the ground that we have not thought of as of this time. A placeholder is being included in the insurance policy for such events.  We would be covered for such activities.  Sylvia Bogert of SWNI concurs with this approach and is reviewing an agreement with PBOT where SWNI will store small street barricades for residents holding Block Parties. Once PBOT gives the green light, residents can pick up free small barricades to close streets for Block Parties. This should help reduce the costs to residents and make it easy for residents to pick up the small barricades. This is a new trial project with PBOT. Our biggest challenge is finding available space to store the barricades, but Sylvia is searching for storage space.

SWNI Schools Committee

Robert Hamilton reported that the SWNI Schools Committee will work with Principal Beth Madison at Robert Gray Middle School to secure a grant from the Hillsdale Community Foundation to develop a Tech Equity Program modeled upon one which is being introduced in the autumn at Jackson Middle School to teach computer coding and to undertake a range of outreach activities involving parents, the public library, and Hillsdale residents.

SWNI Safety Committee

Keturah Pennington reported two items of significance: (1) the April 5 SWNI Public Safety Committee meeting will be the quarterly Public Safety Action Committee (PSAC), where police officers answer questions and advise residents on matters of concern to them (e.g. deterring car thefts).  The meeting will be at the Multnomah Arts Center and starts at 6 p.m.  (2) The Portland Police Bureau will have an open house on March 10 at their training complex on Airport Way.

Presenter for April 4 HNA Meeting:  Portland and the Housing Trilemma

“The Portland region,” economist Josh Lehner stated, “has a strong, vibrant economy and a high quality of life. However, these successes have come at the expense of housing affordability. These three factors -- economic strength, quality of life, and housing affordability -- represent the housing trilemma. A city can have two but not all three at the same time. Tradeoffs are inevitable. That said, Portland's affordability problems are worse than many other fast-growing and popular metros around the country like Austin, TX and even Seattle, WA. The challenge Portland faces is forging a path forward that increases construction to better match a growing population, while simultaneously avoiding the sprawling outcome of many Sun Belt metros. This is not an easy needle to thread. Forecasts call for ongoing economic growth and for a continued influx of young, skilled households, as has been the case ever since Lewis and Clark. Tune in to find out more on Portland's economic and housing outlook.”

Josh Lehner develops the State of Oregon’s quarterly economic forecast, including outlooks for employment, housing, and income. Additionally, Josh acts as the state’s de facto vice economist by forecasting revenues for the Oregon Lottery, Oregon Judicial Department, and state marijuana and tobacco taxes. Outside of work, Josh enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, traveling the state and consuming Oregon’s craft beverages.  Mr. Lehner’s economic research has been cited by Calculated Risk, The Economist, Financial Times, National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other local media. Prior to joining the state, Mr. Lehner worked as a research analyst for a local economic development organization and published a paper on the border tax effect between Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Mr. Lehner earned a B.A in Economics from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in Economics from Portland State University.

At the end of the March 7 meeting, the Secretary and Vice President were handed copies of a “Grievance” and an “Advisory Motion” by a Hillsdale resident and member.  The Board will meet in Executive Session, according to our Bylaws, and respond to the Grievant.

Submitted by Robert Hamilton, Secretary